Country School

Jim (r) and his step-father Einar in about 1953.

Jim (r) and his step-father Einar in about 1953.

If you’ve read this blog for very long you’ve seen stories similar to this one before. It seems that just about everyone in Jim’s generation told stories about one room schools. Most of my generation missed the opportunity, and there can’t be many left. Some think that home schooling can replicate the one room school learning environment, but there isn’t much that can bring back the daily grind of a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter.

How many blankets and burlap sacks would it take to keep warm for that long ride through the snow? I’ve heard stories about heating rocks on the cook stove and wrapping them in burlap to use as foot warmers. That’s more believable than the one about using rabbits or cats to keep warm.

My four block walk to Franklin School seems pretty tame by comparison.

Jim writes:

Many of the people I visit with in my age bracket state that they attended a small one room school in the country. I, too, am one of those in that group. The year was 1930 and the school had about twelve students from the first thru the eigth grades. It was heated by a coal stove and the further you sat from it 

the colder it was! The only time the room was truly comfortable was in the early fall and spring. It was about four miles from our farm but I never had to walk to or from there. During the winter months one of the farmers with kids in school would hitch up a team to a bob-sled or sleigh and armed with horse-blankets, burlap sacks on the floor we were fairly comfortable and out of the wind.

Jim Letter036

Jim Letter037


You might enjoy Grace’s letter titled “Two Room Schooolhouse.”